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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-18

Professional liability in medical practice: A 20 years retrospective study at District Consumers' forum Gulbarga (1991-2011)

1 Department of Medicine, M.R. Medical College, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India
2 Department of FMT, M.R. Medical College, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vandana Mudda
C/o Awati Building, H-No 10-105/39, Sharannagar, Next to District Science Center, Gulbarga - 585 103, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2277-8632.128422

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Introduction: Professional liability (PL) is the liability that arises due to professional failure resulting in damages to the client who are required to be compensated monetarily either by the professional or his insurer. In a landmark historical judgment, the Honorable Supreme Court has ruled that doctors should not be held criminally responsible unless there is prime facie evidence before the court in the form of a credible opinion from another competent doctor, preferably a government doctor in the same field of medicine supporting the charges of a rash and negligent act. Materials and Methods: We studied total 34 cases, which were filed in Gulbarga district forum consumers court between 1991 and 2011 (i.e., 20 years). Results: Obstetrics and gynecology is the most PL prone specialty, followed by surgery, pediatrics, orthopedic, urosurgery, ophthalmology, pathology and dental etc. Out of the total 34 cases, 28 cases were dismissed and 6 cases are compensated monetarily. According to Oriental Insurance Company, Gulbarga and Indian Insurance Company, Gulbarga PL claims vary with the specialty. Conclusion: This paper discusses all the reasons and also suggests ways and means to minimize the risk of PL claims in medical practice. It is utmost importance that PL claims should be avoided.

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